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How I clean my houseplants; with videos!

Oh hello, I'm spending some time today sprucing up my beautiful plant babies, and I thought to myself - why not bring everyone along? So here I am, writing up the process of how I clean my plants for your reading pleasure, you lucky duck you!

I know some of you will be very good at cleaning your plants, some of you will be better than me at cleaning your plants! This post is aimed at the newer plant parents, maybe you've only recently started getting into plants and you're just not sure how to remove that pesky dust from your beautiful babies. Well, this post, this post is for you!

By the end of this blog post, I hope that you will feel much more confident in cleaning all your plant babies. The smooth ones, the bumpy ones, the ones with velvety leaves, fuzzy leaves and even spikes! You'll know how to clean them all so that they're feeling fresh and ready to photosynthesise.

Firstly, lets think about what can make our plants dirty. Yes, a lot of it is dust and that can be a combination of all sorts of particles, however, there are other particles that can make your plant dirty. For example, soil! I don't know about you, but I always find soil on my leaves, especially after a repotting session! Perhaps, the odd spider web (from an actual spider and not spider mites) and even water marks, from that good ol' misting you lovingly provide your plants to get a bit of extra humidity with.

Secondly, let's think about why plants need to have clean leaves. Simply put, dirty leaves will prevent the plant from being able to absorb sunlight. Plants use sunlight to photosynthesise and this is how they create their own food. So, they need clean leaves to function properly as a plant, if they're functioning properly, they'll be the healthiest they can be. And healthy plants don't tend to get pests or diseases... So, let's clean those leaves!

Just a little side note before we get into the techniques I use to clean my plants; I don't use leaf shining products. I try to use as little chemicals around my home as possible, I don't want to be coating my plants in a product that they don't need and could cause them harm. Also, I don't want my plants to be excessively shiny; my personal opinion is they look a bit plasticy and fake when they're overly shiny and I definitely do not want my plants to look fake. (I'm not judging you if you do like your leaves to be extra shiny, this here is a judgement free zone! But I would recommend doing a bit of research into leaf shining products if you are using them).

So, the techniques!

A good ol' luke warm shower

When plants are out in nature they get a little help from the elements to keep themselves clean, wind and rain will both help to blow off any extra bits and bobs that may be building up on their leaves. So I like to mimic that sometimes with a lil shower, just a gentle spray of water that isn't too hot or too cold (as this can damage the leaves) will do the trick to remove that pesky dust.

Allow them to drip dry a little bit before putting them back in their homes.

Wiping leaves with a cloth

Some of the plants are just a bit big to be moving them back and forth and therefore I will sometimes opt for the wiping leaves down method. Just taking a damp cotton cloth and gentle wiping the leaves, making sure the leaf is secure in my hand, I'll wipe the top of the leaf and also the bottom (the bottom of the leaf is where pests like to hide, so give your plant a lil inspection while you're there - remember, pests are unfortunately inevitable when you have many plants in your home).


Some plants really don't want to get wet, they do not want water sitting on their leaves or perhaps they're on the velvety or fuzzy side of life, or even spiky and you can't wipe them down. For these types of plants I'll use a brush, sometimes that's an unused make up brush, or paint brush, or even an old toothbrush! Gently stroking the brush over the foliage to remove any excess dirt can be a really good way to clean those slightly trickier to clean plants.

What do I use to clean leaves with?

As I've said, I don't use leaf shine products. I prefer to use more simple products that I already have around my home. To be honest, it's mostly just plain old water, I mean, it does the trick! Sometimes I'll mix a small amount of soap in the water, if I'm feeling fancy! And when needed, for example, if there are some stubborn water marks on the leaves, then I'll add a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar, as the acidity will break down the minerals that have built up on the leaves causing those water marks.

And that's it! That's all I do to clean my leaves. Nothing particularly fancy but it certainly does the trick and I've not had any complaints from the plants yet!

I shower a lot of my plants, including the velvety and fuzzy ones, I do make sure that they're able to dry off properly and fairly quickly. I brush my trickier to clean ones, like my cactus and my Peperomia Caperata - I don't like to leave water lying on it's bumpy foliage and find a toothbrush cleans off the dust quite well, as you can see in the video below.

Do you have any other tips for cleaning the foliage of our plants? Let us know in a comment!

Thanks for reading xoxo

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